'walk like a victim, you will be a victim'

(55 Posts)
sunlightonthegrass Mon 29-Apr-13 21:43:34

I can't work out what I feel about this.

I took someone to task for saying this recently (in a nice way - I just pointed out that it might not make people who had been victims feel great to feel it was their 'fault' in some way - she, to give her her due, was very gracious about it.)

However, I did sort of know what she was getting at but I still objected to it.

Interested to hear other thoughts?

SlowlorisIncognito Wed 01-May-13 21:42:37

But saying "victims have certain styles of walking" or similar statements is silly. There have been criticims of early victim selection studies anyway, and to be honest, if you want to avoid being mugged, the easiest way is to avoid population centres and comercial centres from 6pm to 1am-ish, especially on a Friday and Saturday night. However, there are lots of reasons to go to those places at those times.

I think people like to believe there are ways to avoid being victimised, things they can control. This is normal, as humans we have evolved to try and make patterns out of randomness and to believe "it won't happen to me, because..."

I don't think it's helpful to compare rape and mugging- 75% of muggings (roughly) happen to men, whereas most rapes happen to women. Most muggers won't know their victim at all. Most rapists will.

With regards to muggings, age is a factor, most victims are young, under 25, with 20-24 being most at risk, then 16-19. A 20-24 year old male isn't someone you neccessarily think of as being vulnerable and they probably don't "walk like victims". It might be oppourtunistic- they are more likely to be around when muggings occur.

According to Wilson (1984) most victims are selected on the grounds of the resistance they will put up to the mugger- so people who look wealthy, or look like they don't value money are chosen, as they will be more likely to hand over their cash more easily. Some muggers said they didn't chose women, as they were more likely to "get hysterical and scream".

You can't focus on one factor and say that was what made them the victim. Most people are probably just in the wrong place at the wrong time (and alone or in a small group).

BasilBabyEater Wed 01-May-13 21:47:35

I have to say, I find it amazing that people have a seemingly endless supply of random humans who are prepared to accompany them on trips out of their house.

I don't have access to a pool of people I can ring up and say "hey, I need to pop down to Tesco for some milk, can you come round and escort me please?" I envy those who have.

Slowloris, interesting post - I agree, a lot is down to luck.

I think for individuals it makes sense to consider where to go, when, with whom, how to walk/look, give out a certain attitude etc - yes, even if just gives a feeling of control.

As a society or as public policy saying 'You should look/walk/dress like this in order to not get attacked' is wrong and victim-blamey <has a way with words>

Basil, you've said it. Unless we should all consider hiring body guards??

NiceTabard Wed 01-May-13 22:02:47

I guess thinking about it, it all comes back to women not going out without an escort / owner?

Although that never actually helped anyone , to be frank.

VerySmallSqueak Fri 03-May-13 15:05:50

I think that an opportunist will strike someone who is more vulnerable than they are.
To think that anyone can walk in a way to hide their apparent 'weakness' is nonsense.

I am a small female,and however much I stride confidently along,wearing rugged clothing,I will not disguise that I will, in all probability, be no match for a large man if he were to attack me.

I refuse to remain a prisoner to daylight hours,male escorts and 'safe' areas though.

I imagine that in this culture of victim blaming it was that which made me at fault when I was attacked by a man jumping out of the bushes ( where he had been waiting) and grabbing me on a lonely country road.

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